- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to deal with Ebola dropped by 9 percentage points in a two-week span, a new Gallup poll said.

Americans told the pollsters they are no more worried about contracting the deadly virus that has killed more than 4,000 in West Africa. Only 15 percent think it is somewhat likely that they or a family member with get Ebola.

But the share of Americans who are very or somewhat confident in the federal government’s ability to contain the outbreak dropped from 61 percent in early October to 52 percent this week.

Federal and local officials have acknowledged missteps in diagnosing Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who brought the disease to Dallas and died on Oct. 8. Two nurses two treated him contracted the virus.

Gallup suggested that mudslinging ahead of the midterm elections also is to blame for Americans’ drooping confidence in governmental attempts to deal with Ebola.

“Over the last two weeks, however, the American public has lost some confidence in the federal government’s ability to handle Ebola, although the confidence level still remains at a majority level,” Gallup said. “It is mainly Republicans who have lost confidence in the government to handle Ebola, suggesting that this health and medical situation — as is the case with so much else in American society today, particularly during election season — has become a politicized issue.”

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